The União das Misericórdias Portuguesas (UMP) – charity institutions run by Portugal’s Santa Casa da Misericórdia – has called on every Santa Casa in the country to provide refuge to Ukrainians fleeing their country due to the Russian invasion.
Their call is for every Santa Casa with the capacity to do so to offer temporary lodging or jobs to Ukrainian refugees.
“Our history shows the strength of Misericórdias in terms of humanitarian help during times of rising social uncertainty. The mobilisation of everyone is, above all else, our obligation,” said UMP president Manuel de Lemos.
The challenge was pitched to UMP by Minister of Employment, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho at a time when “Europe and the world are living difficult and complex times with the start of a war that can result in a large number of deaths and the inevitable displacement of thousands of people.”
Manuel de Lemos said UMP’s response was immediate.
“Well-aware of our nature and our mission, we did not hesitate to accept the challenge,” he said.
He added that UMP is already analysing what degree of support it can provide to Ukrainian refugees, with the goal being that these citizens can eventually become economically self-sufficient members of Portuguese society with their own homes.